Happy Ends

by Tobias Wrigstad

Happy Ends is meant to make you happy. To this end, we will explore happy and beautiful situations, try to make situations positive rather than negative. To explore the power in happy endings rather than how deep down in tragedy we can go.

The game is designed around three interwoven themes. The first one is a story about a woman dealing with the loss of her mother to Alzheimer's. The second one is a selection of scenes tied to photos in the first story. The third are recurring family counselling scenes, loosely coupled with the rest of the game.

The purpose of the first theme is to tell a real story, that has both happy and sad streaks to it, but that ends on an up-note. The story can be truly beautiful when played out—I have witnessed it twice in my two test-runs of this game at Dreamation '09.

The purpose of the second theme is to shift the focus around---let every player be in the spotlight for a while and let the other players turn their attention to him or her. As part of the story of Mary dealing with the loss of her mother—our first theme—Mary is making up stories from a photo album. Each of these photos is a scene putting one of the players in the center. This part is also meant to be extremely pluggable—creative players can go wild here and there is no need to even play the stories I provide.

The purpose of the third theme is to be calm, thoughtful and honest. As a part of family counselling, a group of four family members will open up to each other and give each other their love.

4 players, 1 game master
4-6 hours
Capsule definition:
Happy stories, linear, memories, alzheimers, beautiful, fragile, love
Fastaval 2009